Raymond Tusk set for Coral-Eclipse clash at Sandown Park

Trainer Richard Hannon
Trainer Richard Hannon

Raymond Tusk is set to make a speculative bid for glory in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.

Richard Hannon's charge made a big impression on his racecourse debut at Newbury in April, before finding the Charlie Appleby-trained Loxley too strong in a novice event at Newmarket last month.

Connections acknowledge the size of three-year-old's task as he prepares to take on Appleby's Investec Derby hero Masar at Group One level this weekend, but with a small field anticipated they are happy to roll the dice with the 40/1 chance.

Tim Palin, racing manager for the owners Middleham Park Racing, said: "We're going to go to Sandown and the reasoning is dead simple. It looked like being a small field on Monday morning. I think we were the fifth horse entered at 11.24am and then Aidan O'Brien entered his five before the 12pm deadline.

"It looks like there might be five or six runners, we've paid about £5,000 to get this far and we felt we might as well let him take his chance and all the owners will have a good day out.

"You get over £10,000 if you're sixth and if he over-achieves and picks up £85,000 for finishing third or something, then fantastic.

"Richard is adamant he's a Group horse. Whether that's Group Three, Group Two or Group One, we'll have to wait and see."

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